That Time When Everyone Went Completely Crazy Over Gin

Grace Higgins | October 3rd, 2019

During roughly 50 years from 1728 to 1794, there was a period in London where the whole population nearly went completely mad. And the main culprit was gin. The impact of gin on London’s deprived city population is something that is compared to crack cocaine hitting American inner-city ghettos. It’s a time in Britain that is now known as the Gin Craze, but you could also use the more modern term of drug-crazed.

vice.com

The problem was that until gin, the British population was not used to anything stronger than beer. Nobody knows the period where it was the worst, historians note 1720 to 1751 because this is where we have the most evidence that people complained about the issue – but it could have been happening long before that.

London’s gin consumption was at its biggest during the year 1743, and despite the Gin Act of 1751, the high levels lasted well into 1757. It took a series of crop failures to force the distillation of grain to be banned, due to food shortages! Street vendors would even add in lethal ingredients such as turpentine or sulphuric acid to add a certain flavor to their gin – which was already a much higher percentage of alcohol than today.

Gin bars would have back rooms where men and women would spend the night vomiting unconscious on straw. This led to the term Mother’s Ruin or Mother Gin because, during this same period, death rates started to outstrip birth rates. Historians believe the main cause was that mothers were so drunk on gin they would not look after babies and young children. There is a statistic that showed during 1723, 75% of babies died before they reached the age of five. And doctors did write numerous reports about babies deformed with fetal alcohol syndrome, and gin was also blamed for lowering fertility in men.

The rising amount of drunks and general disorder forced the government to act. This led to regulations around how gin was produced, though it took over eight government acts over 30 years before they finally reached regulation that worked for everyone. In the end, it was simply a case of raising the duty tax that made drinking gin too expensive for the urban poor.

Next Article
  • A Violent Attack That Created A Math Genius

    A salesman by the name of Jason Padgett from Futon did not care about anything apart from chasing girls and partying, until one crazy night that changed anything. Jason Padgett is now a maths genius, he sees math everywhere. No matter what he is doing he will see certain connections with mathematics. If he turns...

    Read More
  • NFL Names All-Decade Team

    In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has all sports at a standstill, the NFL selected the All-Decade team for the 2010s, which featured eight unanimous selections. The selection committee consisted of 48 Hall of Fame members who all agreed on the decade brilliance of Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Aaron...

    Read More
  • How The USSR Helped Fund A Small Bridge In South West Virginia

    Near the border of Kentucky in South West Virginia there is a very small community called Vulcan. It is actually an unincorporated community that was built up as a coal mining town. However in the early 1960s all the mines dried up and the community fell into economic problems. Many simply left to find jobs...

    Read More
  • Svalbard The Norwegian Archipelago Is Visa Free

    Svalbard is the Norwegian archipelago if you translate the name of the place it is called “cold edge.” Which makes a lot of sense as it is very cold and at the edge of the world. It is famous as it is one of the only places in the world that is entirely visa-free. Situated...

    Read More
  • Kevin Durant And Other Players To Compete In 2k Tournament

    With the recent shutdown of all sports, 2k and the National Basketball Players Association has partnered to air an NBA 2k tournament between players on ESPN. The tournament will start on Friday, April 3rd, from 7-8:30 p.m. on ESPN and then switch to ESPN2 from 8:30-11:30 p.m. No games will take place on Saturday, but...

    Read More
  • The Mysterious Blue People Of Kentucky

    The year is 1820 and one young couple has just arrived in a place called Troublesome Creek. This was a remote and small settlement deep in eastern Kentucky - the American dream of the New World. Martin Fugate is a French orphan and his wife is a red-haired woman called Elizabeth Smith. Elizabeth is very...

    Read More
  • The Greek Drachma Currency Was Used For Over 3,000 Years

    The drachma, as was called the Greek currency before implementing the Euro was one of the most widely circulated coins in the world. This is because the Greek currency has existed long before the formation of Greece as we know today. The drachma was used in the world during the time of Alexander the Great....

    Read More
  • Giraffe Only Sleep 30 Minutes Every Day

    If you like your beauty sleep and lazy Sundays, well, you better hope that you are not a giraffe. Giraffes are one of the only mammals that you will probably never catch sleeping. This is because despite being the tallest animal on the whole planet, they have the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal. The...

    Read More